Tips from Stina The Renegade Seamstress

Blue Ridge Sassenach

Wandering along the Blue Ridge Parkway I came upon a most beautiful unsuspecting creature. The Blue Ridge Sassenach cloaked in yellow brocade clothe brighter then the sun. She had appeared suddenly above the Haw Creek Overlook as the fullness of the sun broke over the valley. I asked her how she came to be in 2021 and she looked down at the Amethyst Point in her hand.

The story she relayed to me was eerie and enthralling. The crystal had apparently transported her through space and time... I love time travelogues and this fashionista seemed not a stranger but a familiar sentient being. She collided with the landscape, and was one with the natural world; she was  a mother from the universe appearing to heal the landscape’s vibrations.

We have all experienced some type of time warp over the last year. The first year  of the pandemic shifted our previous timelines.   Netflix and Hulu inundated our subconscious and dream states. The storyline that enchanted me was that of Claire the English Sassenach who came to be living in Scotland 200 years before her original timeline. I had became #outlanderobsessed sometime in the Fall of 2019. My bestie and I started watching the Outlander STARZ television series based on the historical fantasy novels by American author Diana Gabaldon. The pandemic gave pause to the recording of the 6th season; sew after a dramatic 5th season cliffhanger, we were left in #droughtlander mode. After watching the series three times sequentially; I began reading the books to satiate my #outlanderobession  The only way to quench my Outlander thirst was to capture in photographs the beautiful world that Diana’s story helped me create during the worst of times.

The words of Diana Gabaldon are concise and mysterious, her style  is driven by her passion for historical and contemporary fusion of dialogue.  Excerpts from Outlander Chapter II Standing Stones are presented as captions to our Blue Ridge Sassenach story. Enjoy!

“There was a deep humming noise coming from somewhere near at hand.”
Blue Ridge Sassenach in Hooded Cloak



“I thought there might be a beehive lodged in some crevice of the rock, and placed a hand on the stone in order to lean into the cleft.”

Blue Ridge Sassenach Fashion


“The stone screamed. I backed away as fast as I could, moving so quickly that I tripped on the short turf and sat down

Blue Ridge  


“I stared at the stone, sweating. I shook my head violently to clear it, but the noise went on.”

Blue Ridge Sassenach offers crystal  

 “I stumbled to my feet and staggered towards the edge of the circle.The sounds were all around me, making my teeth ache and my head spin. My vision began to blur.”

Blue Ridge Sassenach Crystal offering

“I could say that my field of vision contracted to a single dark spot, then disappeared altogether, leaving not darkness, but a bright void.”

Blue Ridge Sassenach Fashion 

“I could say that I felt as though I were spinning, or as though I were being pulled inside out.”

Blue Ridge Sassenach


“All these things are true, yet none of them conveys the sense I had of the complete disruption of being slammed very hard against something that wasn’t there.”

Blue Ridge Sassenach


“The truth is that nothing moved, nothing changed , nothing whatever appeared to happen and yet I experienced a feeling of elemental terror so great that I lost all sense of who or what, or where I was.”
Blue Ridge Sassenach


“I was in the heart of chaos, and no power of mind or body was of use against it.”

Blue Ridge Sassenach


“I cannot really say I lost consciousness, but I was certainly not aware of myself for sometime.” 

Blue Ridge Sassenach


“I “woke, “if that’s the word, when I stumbled on a rock near the bottom of the hill.”
Blue Ridge Sassenach The Blue Ridge Sassenach climbed aboard ARTeries Mobile Boutique thanks to model Cindy Bowen and photographer Morgan Ford.

"Every Woman Wants a Dress No One Else Has"

Slow fashion is the process and upcycling the tool Stina Andersen uses in designing ARTeries by Stina custom dresses because" Every Woman Wants a Dress No One Else Has"

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Focus Pocus and Goal Sewing!

Alright Amigas! Time to start setting intentions for 2016, you know creating unrealistic expectations for your superhumanself that will drop off the radar in a few weeks. Then again-  perhaps you want to focus on a few possible resolutions - that you will be able to maintain and love working to achieve!

Throughout the past year  due to the business of life and the combined stress of working a 3/4 time job, sewing my clothing line, launching ARTeries Mobile Boutique, and being a single parent, while remaining social and healthy; I lost track of some of my  goals! That's not to say I didn't achieve a lot of my goals- because I rocked 2015 and did a H-E-double hockeysticks of an amazing job. (Back patting sound effects.)

In fact 2015 was sew successful because I  learned a new tactic for setting myself up for success from my business consultant Tonya Snider of tenBiz.She assured me that SMART goals were going to get me where I wanted to go!

She was sew right! I happen to love acronyms and alliteration as different words may work better for some people when making goals. My favorites are in bold!

S - Specific, or significant, stretching, stimulating, simple, self owned, strategic, sensible...

M. - Measurable, or meaningful, motivating, manageable, maintainable...

A. – Achievable, or attainable, action-oriented, appropriate, agreed, assignable, ambitious, accepted, audacious...

R. - Relevant, or rewarding, results-oriented, resourced, recorded, reviewable, robust...

T. – Time based or time-bound, time- lined, track-able...

Those guiding words have helped me narrow my focus and create SMART goals that shape my pursuit of change and success in both my professional and personal life.
Lists are a great way to start planning. From there you can create an outline or a "How to" for yourself. Like a road map you can consult to make sure your on the right track along the way. There are samples of SMART Goals and free downloadable forms if you need that structure Get it Girl! 

Sew, try to carve some downtime for yourself this holidaze to do some SMART planning for the year ahead. Maybe if this concept is new just start with a short term goal that can be met fairly easily with a two or three steps before launching into I want to change my life mode!


 For example:

Strategy: I am going to run a New Years Resolution 5k on January first.

Measurable: I run the race at 10am and am having a celebratory brunch at noon.

Action Steps: I found a couple of friends to support this goal and run with me. I registered for the event, step three  put on my running shoes...

Rewarding: I am going to  feel like a superstar for the start of 2016.

Time-based: The date is set, I just have to show up and participate.


This is one girlboss who wants success and happiness in 2016! Stay SMART benchmark those goals!

Sew it up,




Fashion Designer Mom: A True Story

     Up until the time my daughter turned three, I was operating under the guise of  "Sculptor Mom". I had a BFA  in Sculpture/Fibers and was running my first professional studio in The Phil Mechanic of Asheville's  River Arts District.  Since graduating in 1999,  I was creating large scale fabric art theatrical sets,  installations, and a ridiculous giant whale weaving. Clothing was something I was commissioned by friends for burning man costumes or I designed for myself to perform in theatrical settings like the Fringe Fest. 
      Late into an all-nighter, as my daughter lay nesting  in a pile of fabrics in my studio; I noticed the struggle of scale and space that I was experiencing. The studio was basically split down the middle with sculpting materials. One  half from floor to vaulted ceiling was stacked with forms, ideas, potential mixed media materials and the other half was the rumblings of a clothing line. That night I decided I would move out the wire, twines, rope, yarns, beads, tape,wood structures, armatures and make room for a focus, fashion design.
Her nest blossomed into a loft, then a sleeper sofa as I built studio after studio growing into my designer jeans and returning to the creative dreams of my youth. Peeling back the years of formal art education until I was 10 again- cutting up 60s prom dresses that my grandma would bring home for me- staging fashion shows with my two younger sisters.  I was still that girl, but  now I had a college education and some life experience under my belt.
What a curvy, windy road this last decade has been, but I wouldn't change a stitch of it. She is learning to sew, has picked up fashion design like a fish to water. When indecision strikes I let her decide the color, material or cut to solve the problem. My little model is growing up sew quickly, now selfies and makeup are figuring into the equation. I promise myself I will not force her to work in "the House" of ARTeries and she has joked that she would call it "ARTeries by Cantona".
My daughter is tuning 12 this weekend, and of course I see the reflection of myself in her youth, and yes everyone says "she looks like your mini me." The deeper truth of this story is that I chose to become a fashion designer to be successful for us.  I had to choose the path that would allow me to live my creative dreams, help me achieve financially stability, and be an example for her. I am a proud mom, and now I strive to make her proud of me both as a mom and professionally as a Fashion Designer.


Kickstarting a Mobile Boutique

Sew, I am fresh off the block; to use a competitive swimming term from my youth. Streaming into the crowdfunding circles   

Kickstarter campaign!

Immediately, as the campaign went live I started to energetically feel like I had caught on fire; and YES, I am a fan of the Hunger Games Series... But a few months back I started listening to podcasts, and a good friend recommended   John Lee Dumas's Entrepreneur on Fire.  Hours were spent on the sewing machine by my wood stove; listening to the inspirational real words of John and his diverse successful guests. That drive to succeed started to rub off on me.

  • The decision to launch the Kickstarter was born from this inspiration to take my business to the next level and take a big risk. Trusting that the backers I need to help me purchase the Mobile Boutique Vehicle  will support my campaign is a leap of faith.                                   

  • The seeds for this project were planted many years ago. I have been traveling and regularly selling my clothing and accessories at Arts and Music Festivals such as: The LEAF Festival, Floyd Fest, LAAFF  and Craft Shows like: The Big Crafty, ICE Atlanta, and The Indie South Fair. My clothing line is very well received and sought after at these events where customers can try on unique looks in the popular dressing room, and buy directly from the designer herself.


    Before I started traveling regionally, I had a Fashion & Sewing Studio in  Asheville's River Arts District. I officially rented four studios in three different buildings in the six years I spent in the RAD.  I invested hundreds of dollars and labor hours renovating and restoring old factory warehouse spaces; making them into cozy sewing spaces and customer friendly shopping  Boutique spaces.  Each one was a step up to a better space- a more successful business - until my last lease wasn't renewed. I refused to start renovating another person's investment. Subleasing was too risky. Sew, I said farewell to my wonderful artist  colleagues  and moved my studio home.


    The following two years were extremely difficult for my small business. Trying to adjust to working from home; I  turned back to relying on my day job for steady income.  Since I was no longer able to bring in as much income from sewing classes and commissioned sewing projects; it felt like a step back. I had built a business on a location.  One that I no longer had access to.

    location independence

     The importance of location independence started to reveal itself to me.   I began to retool my business and started to travel to my clients homes' for private sewing lessons, closet consultations, and creative space renovations. I really appreciate all my amazing clients for transitioning with me.   Changing from working in a studio with easy access to all my tools and machinery to always being in transit, felt like flying by the seat of my pants at first. What I realized is that people loved sharing their homes. It was easier for them to make more creative space in their lives when I came to them.


    The Mobile Boutique Idea sprung forth from the merging of these two concepts: I was tired of schelpping my boutique set up to shows, and I needed to have my machines and tools ready to help with renegade seamstress alterations sewing classes, clothing closet consultations.  I am a "Material Girl" I need my fabric and clothes with me on the road... SEW a mobile space!


    As a full time single mom entrepreneur working part time, while building my clothing brand; I have been constantly reinvesting in my business.  I have been taking marketing classes, business planning classes, and have developed a weekly fashion designer meet-up to help other entrepreneurs.  I am dedicated to the success of this venture, because I believe it has a lot of potential to help people in my community.   What I have to offer is very valuable and this is how I can most efficiently grow to help more people.

  • Trusting that the time is right to dive in, and that swimmingly my Kickstarter Mobile Boutique will get funded!

  •           S-E-W- --I-T---U-P-, STINA

  • How to Host a Successful Clothing Swap


    I highly recommend you create a fun, playful atmosphere where women can feel free to play and explore new looks! Clothes swaps can empower women to unleash their creativity and explore new color schemes.

    The joy of clothes swapping is beyond measure! To take a bag of unwanted garments to a party and swap them  out for new desirable clothes is like getting a makeover without the cost.


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    Foam & Fabrics Closes... Sew What's a Local Sewer to do?

    The local quick stop for all basic sewing projects is about to disappear!

    Foam and Fabrics on Biltmore Ave, In Asheville, NC, may not have been filled with the most amazing fabrics you have ever seen liken to that of Mood in NYC, but what they did have was great customer service, and a commitment to local sewers.

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    Bride Del Muerte

    She buried her dress beneath my Magnolia Tree that day while it was in full blossom. A cold Spring morning, fresh misty air, promise, and possibility. How deeply involved I was from creation to death of this wedding dress. Hand made from raw materials, realizing its purpose, then to watch  it pass back into the earth burial style.

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    Motivation for building a Mobile based Business

    We crossed the border and drove, days and nights, just sleeping in the art car all five of us, oh however did we do that? Meanwhile, I was all the time making art from miniature suitcase studios that traveled with us. The sketchbooks from that period are sand crusted , treasure troves of magical Mexican adventures. Now, we are preparing to build a mobile boutique to create a shoppe that will match the amazing stories of golden girls  with amazing fashionable scores! Look for our new Golden Fashion Truck on the road in 2015!

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    Building a new Boutique!

    "Our hope for the new Boutique is that it builds upon the collaborative magic that is created by our collective of designers, and meets with a more successful market through Jenna's renovations and rebranding as the place to shoppe for local Asheville fashion."- Stina Andersen

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